We are excited to promote and support the new book by our ministry founder. Here is what she had to say about the new release:
Questions and Answers with Arlecia Simmons
Q: What can readers expect to find in Diggin'?
A: I celebrated my 40th birthday this year, so in honor of that occasion I offer readers 40 jewels I have gathered on my journey. Each jewel begins with a Bible verse for readers to consider for personal devotion. The core of each jewel is an inspirational message I have excavated from various life experiences. Each entry ends with three reflection questions for readers to explore individually or in community with other readers.
Q: What do you hope readers will experience while reading your work?
A: My prayer is readers will read my words but hear God's voice. I want readers to feel like they are walking alongside me on a journey as they encounter the 40 "jewels" offered in the book. For some, it may feel like a roller coaster ride!
Q: Is this book only for Christian readers?
A: I believe the book will meet readers wherever they are on the journey. But let’s be clear, I talk about Jesus, Mary’s baby, the Lamb of God, true light from true light.... I feel my help coming on. If you pick up Diggin’ for Treasure, you must be open to encountering the divine. No, it’s not preachy.
Q: How long did it take to write Diggin’ For Treasure?
A: It has taken seven years. It’s been a long time coming, but I was reminded seven is the number of completion. I started many of the entries as blog or journal entries, and I can see the growth in my faith, theology, and self-discovery.
Q: The storytelling in the book is refreshing. How did you learn how to tell such rich stories?
A: I am a trained journalist, but I became a storyteller at 5 years old. Before there were VCRs, there was “Arlecia the recorder.” While my aunts were at work, I watched their favorite soap operas and recapped what happened. I know, sounds crazy... I was always listening in on conversations. I was the only child in a house of adults, so there were so many juicy conversations to hear. I also spent hours on porches or in people’s homes navigating the world with my grandmother who sold cleaning supplies. Lots of listening taking place. Later I began reading books and fell in love with poetry. As a teenager, I fell in love with words. I’ve always been a talker, so storytelling comes naturally.
Q: How did you come up with the title?
A: I’ve been playing around with the word “Jewels” for the past seven years. I prayed about it, did a survey, talked with friends, and worked with my editor. Diamonds and other stones result when pressure and time collide. Many of us have amazing stores after the pressure. While we celebrate the gems or the jewels of life, there had to be some excavation.
Q: What have you learned about yourself during this process?
A: I learned to embrace the uniqueness of my ministry. My writing is a ministry. I am learning that I can communicate God’s truth with humor. It may not sound like the King James Version, but it’s more like The Message Bible meets the Gullah Bible.
Q: Is this book accessible to non-Christians?
A: I believe anyone could pick it up and read the book. But let’s be clear, I talk about Jesus, Mary’s baby, the Lamb of God, true light from true light.... I feel my help coming on. If you pick up Diggin’ for Treasure, you have to be open to encountering the divine. No, it’s not preachy.